Top 10 Worst Wives And Girlfriends In Literature
Literature has a cache of some of the most amoral women to rival those in real life. They prove that villainy is not consigned to the boys.
Many of these fictional women are wives and girlfriends, unfortunately for the men caught in their web of deceit and lies. These evil women face counts of everything from psychological abuse to out-and-out murder. Watch out for real-life equivalents of these bad, bad girls (spoilers ahead):
Alison Poole, Story of My Life
Alison, at face value, reads like any other free spirit rebelling against her father. As a serial sexpot and pothead however, Alison was exceptionally disloyal to her bond-trading boyfriend Dean. Her insecurities were enough to inflict irreversible pain on him.
Author Jay McInerney based Alison’s character on Rielle Hunter, the woman with whom former senator John Edwards cheated on his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth.
Probably due to misogyny, women in power are often depicted as sordid in fiction. The irresistible, seductive Gypsy Carmen exemplifies this literary theme so well. She was a bad influence to her lover Don Jose, whom she diverted to a life of sedition and other crimes.
She then replaced Jose with a bullfighter. In a fit of rage, Jose slashed her in public.
Cora, The Postman Always Rings Twice
Femme fatales populate crime novels but Cora stands among their first order. Alongside her drifter boyfriend, Cora schemed to murder her husband Nick to come into his fortune. At first she was unsuccessful, only making Nick amnesiac. She succeeded the second time around.
The cops eventually got wind of her misdeeds yet she was able to elude incarceration. A speeding car ultimately dragged her to hell.
Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby
She inadvertently killed two characters in the book, Jay Gatsby and Myrtle Wilson.
Delilah, Samson and Delilah
Unknown to Samson, Delilah connived with the Philistines to discover the secret to his might. She chopped off his mane and handed over Samson, now a weakling, to the Philistines. Samson’s hair eventually grew back and he avenged himself in a blur of falling pillars. The Old Testament does not say what happened to the wench however.
Dominique Francon, The Fountainhead
Ms. Francon’s primary purpose throughout the book was to ruin the work of the man she loved, the headstrong architect Howard Roark. To do this, she went out on a limb to marry Roark’s nemesis Toohey and serve as his accomplice.
Dominique is an unlikely villain to earn a spot in this list. She did everything only out of love for Roark. Even so, her methods are one of literature’s most appalling.
His new love was later accused of his brother’s murder. By this point the reader knows who else to blame.
Gertrude also gets additional points for evilness by carrying on an incestuous relationship with the title character.
Lady Brett Ashley, The Sun Also Rises
In one memorable part of the book, she skewers the heart of protagonist Jake by telling him they could have ended up together – had he not been impotent.
Lady Macbeth, Macbeth
To that end, she drugged people in order for Macbeth to get hitched with Duncan. She then shifted the blame on the servants by marking them with blood while they were sleeping.
Lady Macbeth was killed off-stage, a death which always seemed inadequate for her many haters in the audience.